The Scottish charity regulator OSCR has approved Shetland Charitable Trust’s outline plan and timetable for reforming its trustee membership. However, there is a long bureaucratic process to go through yet before change can be implemented.
If the new-look trust – comprising eight selected trustees and seven councillors – meets with public approval during consultation in March and April and the arrangements find favour with OSCR it might still be late this year before the new trustees take their places.
In the meantime the trust will continue in its present shape. After the May council elections all 22 newly elected councillors will be offered seats alongside the two independents, Lord Lieutenant Bobby Hunter and Anderson High School head Valerie Nicolson.
Last week OSCR chief executive David Robb wrote to the trust expressing satisfaction with the decision to reform agreed by trustees at their meeting on 15th December which followed years of deliberation and stiff opposition by many councillor-trustees, culminating in a failed bid to mount a referendum in the hope of thwarting change.
The next step is for the trust to lodge a formal application for re-organisation with OSCR later this month which will be advertised publicly in March for around a month plus 14 days for objections. OSCR will then make up its mind. It has six months to do so.
The trust’s current timetable is for trustees to approve the new list of selected trustees on 13th December 2012. But that might now happen several months earlier after OSCR said it is unlikely to need all the time is provided with by law to decide whether to give the green light.